Explore Downtown St. Augustine

aerial view of st augustine

St. Augustine is a city rich in history, culture, and scenic beauty. As you stroll through the cobblestone streets, you'll encounter historic forts, landmarks, boutiques, and even haunted local sites.

Known as the oldest city in the nation, downtown St. Augustine offers a unique and memorable experience for every visitor. No matter what you want to see on your next vacation, we’ve got you covered with our top list of must-sees as you explore downtown St. Augustine.

Visit One Of St Augustine's Many Museums

Downtown St. Augustine has a plethora of museums you can visit! Here are just a few of our favorites:

Pirate & Treasure Museum

This museum features over 800+ real pirate artifacts. Transport you and your family back over 300 years to Port Royal, Jamaica and learn how real pirates lived! Discover pirate treasure and learn about the true history of these people at this interactive museum.

Lightner Museum

This museum is unique to St. Augustine and a must-see while you’re downtown! Housed in the historic Alcazar Hotel, the Lightner Museum showcases an eclectic collection of art, antiques, and curiosities. Wander through the beautiful galleries and enjoy a diverse array of exhibits, from fine art to vintage toys. They also have a variety of rotating exhibitions and events you can check out.

Potter’s Wax Museum

As America’s first wax museum, Potter’s Wax Museum features lifelike figures of historical and famous personalities. Pose with your favorite figures and learn about the stories behind these iconic characters.

Medieval Torture Museum

Get a chilling look into the dark history of medieval punishment. With detailed exhibits and recreations, the Medieval Torture Museum offers an educational yet eerie experience, showcasing the methods and devices used in times past. This museum is not for the faint of heart and showcases some truly terrible torture devices—it’s best not to bring children here.

See Beautiful Spanish-Inspired Architecture

flagler college, spanish architecture

The city of St. Augustine was founded in 1565 by Spanish admiral Pedro Menendez de Avile, Florida’s first governor. The Spanish influence on the city is still very strong today. As you traverse the city, you’ll see several Spanish-influenced buildings that are so authentic that you might wonder if you’ve somehow accidentally wandered into Spain! We've listed just a couple of the many amazing works of architecture here:

Cathedral Basilica of St. Augustine

This cathedral is the oldest Catholic church in the city, and the oldest parish in the entire country! It’s built in the Spanish Mission style and adorned with exquisite murals and stained glass throughout. Even the ceilings have beautifully and meticulously hand painted murals. Definitely check out the cathedral if you’re in town—you don’t have to be a devout Catholic to appreciate its beauty!

Flagler College

This college was formerly the Hotel Ponce De Leon, built by Henry M. Flagler in 1888 and considered one of the finest examples of Spanish Renaissance architecture. You can take a tour from the college and learn all about the incredible design and architecture of the historical buildings on campus (Tours are closed this summer of 2024, but will be back in September! In the meantime, you can check out the buildings on campus without a guide or take a virtual tour!).

Drink From The Fountain of Youth

You could spend the whole day at the Ponce De Leon’s Fountain of Youth Archaelogical Park if you wanted to! The site offers a fascinating glimpse into the early history of St. Augustine for the whole family.

The park, believed to be where Spanish explorer Ponce de Leon sought the legendary Fountain of Youth, features beautiful grounds, historic exhibits, and unique interactive experiences. You can drink from the famous spring, explore a reconstructed native Timucua village, and enjoy demonstrations of 16th-century Spanish cannon firing. The park combines natural beauty with historical significance, making it a must-visit attraction for anyone interested in the origins of America's oldest city.

Get Your Spook On With A Ghost Tour

spooky cemetary at night

Do you love being scared? As with any city that’s been around for a while, St. Augustine has several haunts sure to spook even the most fearless visitors. From the haunted St. Augustine Lighthouse to the Casablanca Inn, there’s no shortage of ghostly activity in this historical city.

Guided ghost tours will take you along to see the many haunts waiting for you in St. Augustine. Think you’re brave enough to take it on? See the most haunted sights St. Augustine has to offer with Ghosts and Gravestones or Ghost Tours of St. Augustine.

St. George Street

St. George Street is the heart of downtown St. Augustine, lined with restaurants, shops, and attractions galore. You can shop at one of the many locally owned boutiques and experience authentic Spanish cuisine at the many restaurants (we’ve heard the Spanish Bakery Café is a great place to stop for a midday empanada). If you're looking to get some shopping in, this area has amazing local boutiques to check out! Some of our favorites include the Red Pineapple Boutique and the Women's Exchange of St. Augustine.

After the sun goes down, there’s still plenty to do along St. George Street! If you’re not wanting to hop on one of the aforementioned ghost tours and want something a little less…haunted, you can hear live music at Colonial Oak Park or stop in for a drink at Mill Top Tavern. There’s a little something for everyone here!

Book Your Saint Augustine Vacation With Coastal Realty

palm trees next to pool

The historical city of St. Augustine is the perfect choice for your next getaway destination. Coastal Realty is here to ensure that you have everything you need to make your trip unforgettable. Whether you’re looking to stay in our Crescent Beach vacation rentals, another community here in St. Augustine, a pet-friendly rental, or you want to stay in a St. Augustine oceanfront condo rental so you can soak in those coastal views, you'll find it all right here. 

When you book directly with us, you can avoid hidden cleaning fees from Airbnb and know what you’re paying upfront—plus you’ll have access to the best customer service around. Browse our available St. Augustine vacation rentals and book your next vacation direct with Coastal Realty!